© Stefan Hengst. All rights reserved.

“Were Adam’s eyes the green of paradise?”
Derek Jarman

The air plants are taking their weekly bath.

The podcast describes the geography of death in degrees of two and threes,
what the ocean will be like without coral.

We argue for possession of the sink. You win, snapping your rubber gloves.

The scientist chants his musts while I consider the curve of your jeans,
your hands like moss, the slump of your shoulders.

Were Adam’s eyes the green of paradise? Yours are,
in the glare about still floured counters, peelings and seeds.

To the green bin’s silver lining, then.

Outside the raccoons clang on the roof, demanding the return of
the tree.
Encased in cement, it grew more dangerous than glass.

It’s stupid to love a tree.

You sigh in a way that says you really need to get these dishes done.
Reaching for your belt just makes you sigh again.

The noise of cutlery is an excavator.
In the distance the pedestrian walk signal emits an SOS.
The usual ghosts float out of the hotel next door, smoke in the alley.

The scientist’s voice runs out. There’s nothing left to dry.
You soften to the quiet, the soapy swirl of the drain.

Dominique Russell is an activist, teacher and writer. She is the author Kensington, I Remember (Russell Creek Press, 2017; 2013) and the editor of Rape in Art Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2012; 2010). A volume of poetry, Instructions for Dreamers, was published by Swimmers Group in 2018. Recent poems can be found in journals such as Arc, carte blanche and Atlas and Alice.

Appears In

Issue 8

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